Mortality Collection

The Mortality Collection (MORT) classifies the underlying cause of death for all deaths registered in New Zealand, and all registerable stillbirths (fetal deaths).

MORT was established to provide data for public health research, policy formulation, development and monitoring, and cancer survival studies.

Scope

Purpose

The Mortality Collection has been established to provide data for public health research, policy formulation, development and monitoring, and cancer survival studies. A complete dataset of each year’s mortality data is sent to the World Health Organization each year to be used in international comparisons of mortality statistics.

Content

The Mortality Collection classifies the underlying cause of death for all deaths registered in New Zealand, including all registered fetal deaths (stillbirths), using the ICD-10-AM 6th Edition and the WHO Rules and Guidelines for Mortality Coding.

Fetal and infant data is a subset of the mortality collection. Extra variables such as gestation and birth weight are collected for these records.

Start date

Deaths registered in New Zealand from 1988 onwards are held in the Mortality database. Data from 1970 to 1987 is also available on request.

Guide for use

The mortality statistics are compiled according to the year the death is registered. Causes of deaths for data before 2000 are recorded in ICD-9-CM-A and have not been mapped forward to ICD-10-AM.

For further details refer to the Mortality Collection Data Dictionary.

Collection methods – guide for providers

Each month Births, Deaths, and Marriages (BDM) sends National Collections and Reporting electronic death registration and electronic stillbirth information data (for the previous month’s registrations), Medical Certificates of Causes of Death (BDM 50 and BDM 167), and Coroners’ reports.

Additional information on underlying cause of death is obtained from electronic hospital discharge data from the National Minimum Dataset (NMDS) and private hospital discharge returns, the New Zealand Cancer Registry (NZCR), the Department for Courts, the Police, the NZ Transport Agency, Water Safety NZ, Media Search, and from writing letters to certifying doctors, coroners, and medical records officers in public hospitals.

Frequency of updates

Electronic files of new death registration data are received monthly from BDM. Manual updates from other sources are ongoing.

Security of data

The data in the Mortality Collection is accessed by authorised National Collections and Reporting staff for maintenance, data quality, audit and analytical purposes.

Paper records are stored in a locked office with swipe-card security, in a locked basement storeroom at the Ministry of Health, and Archive Security.

Privacy issues

The Ministry of Health is required to ensure that the release of information recognises any legislation related to the privacy of health information, in particular the Official Information Act 1982, the Privacy Act 1993 and the Health Information Privacy Code 1994.

Information available to the general public is of a statistical and non-identifiable nature. Researchers requiring identifiable data will usually need approval from an Ethics Committee.

National reports and publications

The National Collections and Reporting Group publishes three annual report series: Mortality and Demographic Data, Suicide Facts and Fetal and Infant Deaths. The latter publication contains detailed information on numbers and rates of livebirths, fetal deaths, and neonatal and post-neonatal deaths. These publications are available in the Publications section.

  • Prior to the release of the annual reports, provisional data can be requested via Analytical Services. Email data-enquiries@moh.govt.nz

Data provision

Customised datasets or summary reports are available on request, either electronically or on paper. Staff from the Analytical Services team can help to define the specifications for a request and are familiar with the strengths and weaknesses of the data.

The Analytical Services team also offers a peer review service to ensure that national collections data is reported appropriately when published by other organisations.

There may be charges associated with data extracts.

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